When You’re Not a ‘Math Person’ and Your Kid Needs Help

Apr 27, 2020 | Sharyland

How to support your children in home-school lessons that may be outside your skill set.

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Nearly all schoolwork is now homework, and many parents are struggling to support their kids at home.

And many of the parents who are able to squeeze in the time and feel equipped to help their kids with reading, for example, want to run in the other direction when it comes to math. Trying to recall long-forgotten concepts is challenging enough, and now most math content is being taught differently from the way it was, way back when. So if kids are confused, what can already beleaguered parents do to help?

To help children in elementary and middle school grades learn to think and solve problems for themselves, you don’t have to have all the answers. A positive attitude can go a long way. As teachers and tutors who are also parents ourselves, here’s our advice.

Avoid telling your kids how much you hate math/used to hate math/were a terrible math student. If kids hear your negative messaging, they are more likely to develop a poor long-term view both of math and of themselves as math students. Instead, emphasize that you understand that a problem is tricky and that what matters is that they work to solve it. The focus should be on the process of figuring it out.